My daughter’s name is Ella. 

She was actually named after my great-great-great grandmother Cinderella, crazy enough.  So my Ella has always seen her name as the same as a blond Disney Cinderella princess.  She is in the princess phase where Ariel, Belle, and Rapunzel are truly magical women that she would love to be precisely like someday.  (Here’s to hoping that she grows out of that before college.) It’s a fun phase though to be in with her right now.

One day I asked her what a princess is and she said, “She is beautiful and brave and the daughter of a King.”   I like that idea Ella. I liked it so much that I now have a sign hanging in her room with these words… “I am the daughter of a King who is not moved by the world.  For my God is with me and goes before me.  I do not fear because I am His.” Strong truth sweet friends.

In this precious season of fairytale wonder, we had a plane ride home from California.  We were seated next to an elderly lady who was brought onto the airplane earlier in a wheelchair.  She was quiet, frail, and had just a little bit of sadness in her eyes.  We cautiously crawled over her to get to our seats. Ella sat by the window and then stretched across my body to start a conversation with our seat mate. You never know what will come out of the mouth of three-year-olds so I was curious to see what Ella might notice or say.  Her question was simple and to the point:  “What is your name?”  The sweet old lady replied “Ella.”

My daughter lit up and exclaimed, “You are a princess!” 

She laughed at my little curly haired toddler, and the two Ella’s got into other important conversations about what drink to order on the airplane and where the throw-up bag was.

But, a princess.

Ella saw this old woman as a princess.  I have a feeling nobody had called her that for a very long time, if ever; and yet, it was so right and so fitting.  The daughter of a King… brave and beautiful. 

I know that Jesus, our King, would whisper to her sweet wrinkled face, and tell her “You are brave, you are beautiful, and you are mine.”  He doesn’t categorize us by our youth, or our status, but by the fact that we are His children!

For many of us who haven’t experienced the joy of having a close relationship with our dad, the idea that God’s love for us is so extreme that he calls us his children is crazy.  It’s an overwhelming truth that feels too good to be true.  I am learning that as I live with this reality, that God is for you and he loves you at this extreme level, it empowers your life with joy and a belief that “I am brave and beautiful.”

Romans 8:16 says,  “The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs of Christ.”

My heart needs to remember this.  Your heart needs to remember this. No matter our age, our wrinkles, our past failures or our current status, we are God’s loved children.  His heirs. His.